* II addresses digital video compatibility

International Image has developed two processes designed to eliminate digital compatibility issues arising from the approval of 18 varied dtv transmission standards.

The C2, (or Constant Cadence) and Enhanced Image f.i.t. address incompatibilities that stem from interruptions to a video characteristic known as a 3:2 cadence.

Video-on-demand, dvd and some forms of digital broadcast require uninterrupted cadence, unlike analog, which has no cadence requirements. Cadence interruptions cause flaws in the video image.

Enhanced Image f.i.t. is aimed at the 80% of the world market on the pal standard. f.i.t. addresses flipping in the field of dominance, a 3:2 cadence flaw which only occurs in pal. Flipping results from inconsistent 3:2 cadence incurred during the post process on ntsc, which is then translated to pal.

* Softimage, Phoenix deliver particle system

Montreal-based Softimage has signed a strategic agreement with Phoenix Tools, an animation software developer, to provide Phoenix products such as ParticleSuite with Softimage systems.

To begin, Phoenix’s ParticleSuite will be included free of charge as a plug-in with shipments of Softimage 3D ‘extreme.’ ParticleSuite is an advanced particle environment based on dynamics simulation modules and volumetric shaders.

The deal will also see ParticleSuite and Phoenix’s Cloth Extreme and Dynamics packaged with Softimage’s next-generation nonlinear 3D animation system, code-named Sumatra. The new package is scheduled for release in early 2000.

Current 3D ‘extreme’ users can download ParticleSuite software directly from Softimage’s website at //

* Rogers picks Sony for upgrade

Rogers Cable Systems and Sony Canada are teaming up to streamline the cable company’s operations and prepare for dtv. Sony is installing a range of digital products, including camcorders, videotape recorders and laptop editors.

The upgrades will take place over five years in and around Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver. ‘Our goal is to revolutionize our production facilities by bringing digital technology into the mix,’ says Colette Watson, Rogers’ vp programming and pr.

Rogers is Canada’s largest cable operator with 2.2 million subscribers in Ontario and b.c.

* Chromacolour falls into Crater

Crater Software of Montreal has entered an agreement with Chromacolour International that will see Chromacolour’s color palettes incorporated into Crater’s ctp 2D cel animation and cartoon production system.

ctp facilitates the entire post-paper cartoon production process – from initial drawings to final editing – in one package.

With the addition of Chromacolour, Crater says it can offer an easily integrated assortment of color types with its product. ‘The integration of the Chromacolour palettes represents a significant step forward for both ctp and Crater Software,’ says vp of international sales and marketing Joe Alonso.

Chromacolour has been developing and providing digital and traditional cartoon animation materials, software and equipment to animators for more than 20 years.

* SMPTE needs speakers for Toronto meet

The Toronto section of smpte is looking for speakers versed in various areas of dtv expertise to present papers during a two-day technical seminar in March.

The seminars will cover all aspects of the rollout of dtv in Canada from acquisition, production, network distribution to local stations, presentation, packaging, transport to final distribution and transmission, and the set-top box.

Presentations would be 45 minutes or 90 minutes in length, including a question and answer period. Presenters will be asked to provide a copy of their presentations on disc and hard copy for handouts.

For more information call Randy Conrod, (416) 442-5459, Frank Bruno (416) 260-3610, or Mark Ritchie (519) 745-5586.

* Peace Arch streams online

Peace Arch Entertainment, the Vancouver-based tv producer and distributor, is diversifying its media assets with the launch of a new webcasting business, StreamScapes.

The venture, targeted at the business-to-business marketplace, offers realtime audio and video products for all manner of interests, including corporate and entertainment.

StreamScapes will handle such products as instructional videos, online commercials and promotional material, which would either be produced in-house or delivered as finished programs, the company says.